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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - May 11 2015 :  8:42:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
What do you think about the chaffhaye, MaryJane? Can you get it locally or do you order it from elsewhere?

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - May 11 2015 :  8:46:06 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Betsy and Clover eating their organic dairy pellets mixed with kelp and vitamins... they really get along well!

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens

Edited by - CloversMum on May 11 2015 8:48:00 PM
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - May 21 2015 :  9:45:49 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
MaryJane brought by a sample of Chaffhaye for me to see and try with some of my critters. I'm intrigued by it and read all of the information that also came with the sample.

First, I found some great facts about our cows! Our cows move their jaws/chew over 50,000 times a day. Cows' esophagus are three feet long and their stomachs can hold 40-50 gallons! Then the information continues, "With nearly 500 trillion bacteria and 50 billion protozoa living in the stomach, the ruminant can convert fiber into energy, nitrogen into protein and synthesize B vitamins for absorption."

Each bag of Chaffhaye is 50 lbs and is equal to the nutritional value of a 75-100 lb bale of high quality hay. The Chaffhaye is cut and processed within hours of each other instead of drying out in the fields to retain as much of the nutritional value. The Chaffhaye is packaged in an air-tight bag and a natural fermentation takes place in the bag that aids in digestion.

I'm thinking of trying it first with my goats as they are picky eaters and waste so much of their hay bales. I'm very intrigued with the idea of no dust! I'm still considering the cost although, the information says that supplements and grains/pellets are reduced as they are not needed due to the high nutritional value of the Chaffhaye. And it is non-GMO and I believe that they are working towards organic certification.

Anyone else use Chaffhaye? Thoughts? Of course, this time of year my cows are out on fresh green pasture and loving it. I'm thinking of the winter months when pasture isn't available. It is difficult around here to find great quality suitable hay.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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maryjane

6942 Posts


Posted - May 23 2015 :  2:24:51 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Charlene,

Right now I have my girls on pasture and Chaffhaye. I've converted them over to Chaffhaye simply because I cannot get quality hay and my pasture is limited (more like dessert and a treat than daily food).

I wish I had Janet's situation for hay but I do not. Or Ron’s.

I've been able to locate organic hay in the big bales but I'm set up for 2-string and no one even close to me (within 300 miles) wants to mess with 2-string anymore.

A few years ago we bought a baler and did hay ourselves but it was just one thing after another so when a neighbor offered to grow it for us if we'd bring it in off the field, we jumped at the chance and sold our baler.

Fast forward.

What we got last August had been cut a couple of days before we received an inch of rain. By the time it'd been turned and dried (or so I thought), it was faded and most of the alfalfa (he grows a mix of grass/alfalfa) had fallen out. This past year we've had to flake each bale apart and smell for mold. That resulted in us tossing about 1/3 of what we’d put into storage. I'll bet you've heard my deep sighs from way up on your hill:) And the dust!!!! I swear it was 1/8 dust. I look like a bandit when I feed. But my cows refuse to wear bandanas so they've had to breathe dust as they moved the hay around eating it. I found I was relying on Modesto's alfalfa and grain pellets more and more for feed to insure they were getting adequate protein and a break from the dust.

I arrived at the conclusion that I needed to do something different. I started out by trying Standlee compressed bales that are sold in Lewiston (only 1/2 hour away). Their grass bales are great, no dust, but not high in protein (those bales have been handy the past week or so for Miss Daisy as she nears her birth date and recovers from her over-indulgence in grain). And I love their compressed straw for bedding. As it's being compressed, the "straws" of straw get crushed and I find it's a lot more absorbent that regular run-of-the-field straw. It has the same amount of dust.

Standlee's alfalfa/grass compressed bales are DUSTY!!!! Not dirt dust, but green alfalfa dust, very fine and problematic in my mind.

Hence, the Chaffhaye. I took a week converting them over to it and figured out a system for dumping a 50# bale into a large plastic tub and feeding from it. I love that it's moist and their minerals stick to it when I add them once/day. I can go along their feeding trough and give each gal the amount of Chaffhaye she should get based on her weight and then go back and give each of them a sprinkle of minerals right on top of the hay, down close so there's no dust from the minerals.

Chaffhaye is 20% protein (straight alfalfa cut while green and then sprayed with a light mist of molasses to promote fermentation) and can even be fed to horses (and goats, etc.) who are prone to bloat from so much alfalfa. Apparently, silage (like my uncle always fed to his dairy cows) is pre-digested and can’t cause bloat. Bloat is caused by too much sugar during digestion but in silage, the sugars are pre-digested.

Anyway, I’m still experimenting with it and will let you know. So far, I love how neat and tidy all of it is. My cows are no longer knocking half the hay out of the feeder looking for the best hay.

No more huge quantities of manure that has flecks/strands of undigested hay (Chaffhaye poops are somewhat runny without any particulate matter in it at all—harder, if not impossible to pick up with a pitchfork—you have to let the plops dry out a tad if they haven’t dumped where there’s bedding to facilitate lifting it up and away with a pitch fork).

All in all, we’re humping around a lot less 50# loads of straw/hay bales/pellets. I’m thinking I can do away with alfalfa pellets altogether and feed a small amount of grain (or alfalfa pellets if I wanted to claim grass-fed) to my milkers as I milk them.

The trucker and his wife who delivered them (I had to take a huge “dealer” load in order for it to work for Chaffhaye—no one around here sells it--although I will offer it for sale just like I do the Modesto pellets if my girls like it) spent the night sleeping in Brian’s drive-way in their semi. It needs to be stored properly and not have mice eating a hole through the thick plastic that covers each “bale.” (Not really bales but large densely-packed plastic bags full of semi-wet silage that's kind of stuck together and comes apart in flakes.)

In other words, verdict not in yet, but so far so good. I’m liking it. Just waiting to see if one day my girls turn their noses up at it. It doesn’t have a bad odor like some silage I’ve smelled. It has a mild sauerkraut smell.

Stay tuned! If you need another sample, let me know. If you’d like to try an entire bale, let me know.



MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - May 23 2015 :  2:59:05 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
MJ, where in Texas did it come from? i seem to remember you mentioned the delivery in an email last month...

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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maryjane

6942 Posts


Posted - May 23 2015 :  3:32:07 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Dell City, Texas

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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Ron

4666 Posts
Ronnie
Peever SD
USA

Posted - May 23 2015 :  3:36:24 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Wish I was near you guys...you'd be swimming in 60 pound square bales put up right...I'm kinda of maybe nuts when it comes to putting up hay...in a way a matter of life and death.

With a moo moo here and a moo moo there, here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo.
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Ron

4666 Posts
Ronnie
Peever SD
USA

Posted - May 23 2015 :  3:37:17 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
By the way Char, Betsy is looking great. Thank you for loving Her.

With a moo moo here and a moo moo there, here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo.
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maryjane

6942 Posts


Posted - May 23 2015 :  6:45:02 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Regarding Chaffhaye Charlene, I just remembered this problem I had with baled hay: https://heritagejersey.org/chatroom/topic.asp?whichpage=1&TOPIC_ID=827

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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maryjane

6942 Posts


Posted - May 23 2015 :  7:25:32 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Ron, I made note a while back of the way in which you've figured out how to take apart larger bales and re-bale the hay into two-string.

When I suggested that as an option for us (it would involve buying another baler), hubby looked at me like he was ready for an urn, mine. Sometimes one more thing is the one more thing that pushes the inordinate button.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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Ron

4666 Posts
Ronnie
Peever SD
USA

Posted - May 24 2015 :  06:23:47 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
I totally agree with Nick . It's really just more work. I have done it as a matter of economics. People who want square bales pay a premium for them. Like I said if I was nearby I would crank you guys out a quick 1,000 of the little critters..

With a moo moo here and a moo moo there, here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo.
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maryjane

6942 Posts


Posted - May 24 2015 :  06:29:25 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Now wouldn't that be beyond the concept of neighborly. Bales of hay aside, I'd love it if I could stop in for coffee and CREAM and cool conversations about co-creation, etc. once in a while.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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Ron

4666 Posts
Ronnie
Peever SD
USA

Posted - May 24 2015 :  08:02:35 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Lol...yes, friendship...money ain't never gonna buy it...

With a moo moo here and a moo moo there, here a moo, there a moo, everywhere a moo moo.
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - May 24 2015 :  2:29:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
can't get farther from our place than Dell City Texas - we are on the far right side of texas, in the piney woods slam up against Louisiana.

MJ - I remembered you were cleaning up your girls bums this last week, does the loose stool from the chafhaye make that more of an issue? lover boy actually thought of that when we were talking all things cow this afternoon.

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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maryjane

6942 Posts


Posted - May 25 2015 :  10:01:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Why, I would LOVE to take some photos of cow plops for you Cindy. Seriously, I'll all about manure. The result of Chaffhaye is about the same amount of liquid you get in their poo as when they're on green pasture. Somewhat firm but more runny than dry hay. Photos to come! (A photo of cow dung is worth a thousand ... bucks. That's what my gardens tell me.) But I haven't noticed really their butts are any more messy than usual. Lawdy, I've love to potty/litter train a cow before I die. BTW, I'm re-reading BEEF. It's so well written. I promise.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - May 25 2015 :  3:51:57 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
when embracing a farm one must embrace poop. they go hand in hand ;>

when i was at the ploughshare institute the amish type farmer said he potty trained his cows. seriously. i thought he was pulling our city legs, but he was dead serious. he potty trained them NOT to evacuate in the milking parlor. they put the board over their hind area so they can't raise up, and he showed us with a cow in training how you can tell when they are going to evacuate as they hump their back... and the board restricts it so they can't do it. and then they start to realize that they need to do their business BEFORE entering the milking parlor otherwise they are going to be uncomfortable. he was training the one cow and when they shifted like they wanted to go he just patted her hind quarter and told her no strongly. he said after a month they could remove the board and the cow was potty trained, and if they ever started to go again in the parlor they put the board back.

seriously. it was real. i always wondered if anyone else did this.

i actually have a sample of "beef" on my tablet but haven't gotten around to it yet. perhaps that's what should be lined up next...

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")

Edited by - txbikergirl on May 25 2015 3:57:44 PM
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maryjane

6942 Posts


Posted - May 25 2015 :  3:59:18 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
The authors of BEEF need to start writing novels because it reads like one. Fantastic mastery of words. You'll be inspired by the historical journey they take you on. It's a hefty, no, it's a meaty journey you're about to embark on as a caretaker of a milk cow.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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maryjane

6942 Posts


Posted - May 25 2015 :  4:06:27 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Regarding the Amish farmer training his cows. For sure!!! Sally will never dump while you're milking her. The young ones really let loose but over time, they get it figured it out. You can also just push on the top of the tail when you sense a deposit coming on.

What I want to do is train them not to cut loose where they sleep, in their bed, right between the sheets. Such a crappy deal for us caretakers. All they'd have to do is walk 10 feet away. Sometimes when I walk up to where they've all been sleeping through the night, they stretch and stand one by one and RIGHT THERE cut loose, urine and crap. The servant milkmaid then proceeds to grab her pitchfork, thinking ... someday.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - May 26 2015 :  6:19:25 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
MJ - one less thing i have to chew your ear on come july. i should prob start a list of all the questions/discussions i have brewing inside of me but just think it will all work out organically. i especially enjoy hearing every farmers take on things that other farmers have espoused, it is interesting.

and glad to know i wasn't a silly girl believing the dairy guy!

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - May 27 2015 :  4:25:31 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Your last post here MaryJane had me giggling! Now, I will say that my goats have NEVER pooped while I'm milking them...And if they ever did, I'm dealing with berries instead of pies! I wonder what the difference is between the goats and cows? They are both ruminants. This will take some getting used to when I start milking a cow, too.

However, my goats will stretch, stand to greet me when I go into their shed and promptly dump a pile of berries just inches away from the outside door. We've had some discussions about their location of their hind quarters...but no success on my part yet.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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maryjane

6942 Posts


Posted - May 29 2015 :  4:58:48 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Okay Cindy, here it is, cow butts and fertilizer.

Here's Eliza Belle's rump right after a Chaffhaye dump.



And here's the dump.



Here's a dry Chaffhaye deposit. Looks alot like the "firewood" pioneers used in their wood cookstoves.



Here's a dry "dry hay" deposit. It has more heft to it because it has more undigested hay in it.



MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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txbikergirl

3197 Posts


Posted - May 29 2015 :  7:14:20 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
enjoying the photos MJ! Eliza Belle has a cute rump.

just sign me "embracing the poop in texas"

Firefly Hollow Farm , our little farmstead. Farmgirl living in the green piney woods of East Texas on 23 acres with a few jerseys, too many chickens, a pair of pugs and my Texan hubby (aka "lover boy")
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CloversMum

3486 Posts


Posted - Jun 02 2015 :  10:32:45 AM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Looks like you've got proof of less waste and better digestion, MaryJane. And, any time that the cow pies are lighter or less sounds like a good plan.

Loving life and family on our Idaho farm, Meadowlark Heritage Farm; A few Jersey cows; a few alpacas; a few more goats, and even more ducks and chickens
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Andrea0509

155 Posts


Posted - Oct 06 2015 :  2:17:00 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
We just got our first cow about 2 months ago and she's been 100% on pasture and becoming quite plump because of it ;) I also provide her with a Redmond rock. I've read the feed section in MJ's book and also this post, so I just want to be sure I'm making sense of all this before making my purchases.

What I'm planning to feed ~

Once a day in her feed bucket:
Alfalfa pellets
loose mineral

Free Choice:
Redmond rock
Kelp
Baking Soda OR Apple Cider Vinegar (will rotate)

Cow Cookies per MJ's recipe (to get in DE)

Of course also pasture or hay (in winter).


Questions:

1) Should I just mix in the kelp and (when not offering ACV) baking soda in her feed bucket at night, when I'm giving her alfalfa/loose minerals? Or is it better to keep them free-choice?

2)What type of loose minerals are best? I read your recommendations regarding Wick's brand, however I bought a generic bag of livestock mineral from our local farm store when I bought Percy and wonder if that's even worth using? Does she need a loose mineral if I give the Redmond rock and cow cookies daily?

3) If I opt for an organic dairy feed, for example Modesto's, what would I subtract from the list above? What way is preferable?

Sorry so many questions! I'm used to feeding my sheep so simply so this is boggling my mind! ;) Thank you for any help!
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maryjane

6942 Posts


Posted - Oct 06 2015 :  2:44:13 PM  Show Profile  Reply with Quote
Hi Andrea,
I'm about to leave for a photo shoot but will have time to ponder all this with you this evening. Good questions!! I'm excited for you.

MaryJane Butters, author of Milk Cow Kitchen ~ striving for the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain ~
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